Q&A With: Sudhinder Thakur

This leading executive in India's civilian nuclear power program tells us that his country's recent agreement with the United States will help in a plan to use thorium as a fuel

5 min read

Sudhinder Thakur, a 58-year-old mechanical engineer with a degree from the University of Delhi, is executive director of corporate planning for the Nuclear Power Corp. of India Ltd. (NPCIL), a government enterprise charged with building and running the country’s nuclear power plants. He sat down with IEEE Spectrum Senior Editor Harry Goldstein in the company’s offices in Mumbai in January to talk about the recent agreement between the United States and India that could ultimately provide India with access to light-water reactor technology and uranium. Thakur also spoke about India’s indigenous program, which will ultimately rely on a combination of fast breeder reactors and thorium, an element that in India is more plentiful than uranium.

Spectrum Online: What is the status of the fast breeder program?

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Practical Power Beaming Gets Real

A century later, Nikola Tesla’s dream comes true

8 min read
This nighttime outdoor image, with city lights in the background, shows a narrow beam of light shining on a circular receiver that is positioned on the top of a pole.

A power-beaming system developed by PowerLight Technologies conveyed hundreds of watts of power during a 2019 demonstration at the Port of Seattle.

PowerLight Technologies

Wires have a lot going for them when it comes to moving electric power around, but they have their drawbacks too. Who, after all, hasn’t tired of having to plug in and unplug their phone and other rechargeable gizmos? It’s a nuisance.

Wires also challenge electric utilities: These companies must take pains to boost the voltage they apply to their transmission cables to very high values to avoid dissipating most of the power along the way. And when it comes to powering public transportation, including electric trains and trams, wires need to be used in tandem with rolling or sliding contacts, which are troublesome to maintain, can spark, and in some settings will generate problematic contaminants.

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